Did you know that cinnamon is said to have a labor-inducing effect? But that’s not the only reason why women should keep an eye on their cinnamon consumption during pregnancy.
Cinnamon belongs in the Christmas season as well as candles and a decorated tree. But we also use it to season (sweet) dishes, teas and other delicacies during the rest of the year. The spice not only tastes and smells fantastic. One definite pros for the spice tree’s bark is that it has positive health effects in fact. Cinnamon has an antibacterial effect and promotes digestion. But only if you enjoy it in moderation.
What the spice is also said to have a labor-promoting effect during pregnancy. Allegedly, even a teaspoon of cinnamon is said to induce labor at the end of pregnancy. Why is it not a good one idea is to eat a whole teaspoon, what differences there are in cinnamon (products) and what you should still pay attention to when consuming during pregnancy, we reveal.
Cinnamon is allowed during pregnancy, but not all cinnamon is the same
Before we clarify how much cinnamon pregnant women can safely consume, it should be clear which types of cinnamon there are. There are actually two types of cinnamon: the mild Ceylon cinnamon and the hotter cassia cinnamon.
The mild Ceylon cinnamon is considered to be harmless to health. However, it is also the more expensive variant. That is why many finished products with cinnamon contain the cheaper, but hotter cassia cinnamon. It contains a relatively large amount of coumarin.
Cinnamon during pregnancy: be careful with coumarin
Coumarin is an aroma and fragrance that can damage the liver in sensitive people. However, it is not per se dangerous to mothers ‘and babies’ health. The Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) recommends a “tolerable dose (TDI) of 0.1 mg per kg of body weight, which can be consumed daily for a lifetime” for adults.
The maximum value for the flavoring substance in the European Union is also specified in finished products. According to the BfR, food producers use this maximum value, but the TDI can only be exceeded if large quantities of cinnamon-containing foods are eaten every day.
With children (approx. 15 kg) this maximum value would be reached, for example, if they would squeeze about 6 small cinnamon stars (that’s about 30 g) or 100 grams of gingerbread. An adult (about 60 kg) should eat up to 24 small cinnamon stars.
If you are pregnant and like to season a lot with cinnamon, it is advisable to pay close attention to the amount and type of cinnamon. According to the BfR, an adult weighing around 60 kilograms should not consume more than 2 grams of cassia cinnamon a day. A toddler of around 15 kilograms should not consume more than 0.5 grams of cassia cinnamon a day. Cinnamon lovers should therefore better use Ceylon cinnamon, which is low in coumarin.
Cinnamon during pregnancy: how do you know if it was too much?
Anyone who has found cinnamon for pastries, tea and everything else that is tempting and is now afraid that there is too much coumarin should be body watch closely after consumption.
An ‘overdose’ manifests itself in severe headache, dizziness and vomiting. If you suspect a connection between these symptoms and your diet, contact your doctor immediately.
Maximum content of cinnamon in pregnancy
What do all these numbers mean for the amount of cinnamon you can eat during pregnancy? One thing is certain: pregnant women do not have to completely do without the spice in their diet, but should keep an eye on how much of it they are consuming.
And above all because of the coumarin it contains. There is something to the belief that cinnamon can cause premature labor, but in fact you would have to consume 250 g of pure cinnamon to achieve a labor-inducing effect. For comparison: a pack of cinnamon stars contains around 4 grams of cinnamon.
So if you are impatiently waiting for your baby to be born at the end of your pregnancy, you should, in the interests of your own health, refrain from taking a teaspoon of cinnamon and use conventional methods to get the birth going. A full teaspoon of cinnamon can be really dangerous. Since the spice is not water-soluble, it can cause breathing problems and in the worst case even lead to suffocation.
Cinnamon in pregnancy: be careful with cosmetics
Anyone who loves not only the taste but also the scent of cinnamon probably also has a weakness for cosmetics with a cinnamon scent. In fact, these products should also be taken into account in the maximum daily dose of cinnamon. Because body lotions, creams and oils that smell of cinnamon often contain synthetically produced coumarin. This can also be absorbed through the skin.
It is therefore best to always check the ingredients of cosmetic products, especially during pregnancy.
Cinnamon in pregnancy: when should you go without it?
When consumed in moderation through food, cinnamon will not harm mums or their unborn babies. However, diabetics should definitely avoid taking cinnamon capsules during pregnancy. Cinnamon capsules are generally said to have a positive effect on blood sugar levels, but the amounts of coumarin and cinnamaldehyde they contain are too high during pregnancy.
Cinnamon oil should also be avoided during pregnancy. This can actually trigger premature labor.
Cinnamon During Pregnancy: Safer Consumption
In the case of cinnamon, the amount is clearly the poison. In other words, when consumed in small portions, women do not have to fear any danger to themselves or their unborn child.
If you don’t want to do without the spice, especially at Christmas time, and are a big fan of cinnamon sticks in punch or tea, for example, you should use Ceylon cinnamon. It contains very little coumarin and is therefore more suitable.
If you want to be on the safe side, avoid finished products with cinnamon during pregnancy. The better alternative is to bake and cook yourself and the higher quality Ceylon cinnamon, which is low in coumarin, should be used for this too.
Important note: The content of this article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for a doctor’s diagnosis. If you are unsure, have urgent questions or have complaints, you should contact your gynecologist or midwife.
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